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Vibrational communication in insects and spiders
Some spiders have evolved a most remarkable method of capturing other spiders – they imitate the vibrations of insects caught in their victim’s web. And this is only one of numerous intriguing examples of vibrational communication in arthropods…
Brood parasitism in cuckoos and other birds
Obligate brood parasitism has evolved several times independently in birds. Apart from the cuckoos, it can be found in four other, only distantly related families.
Hummingbirds, sunbirds and honeyeaters
One of the most well known examples of convergence among birds is between hummingbirds, sunbirds and honeyeaters, all of which are small, dominantly nectar-feeding birds.
Intelligence and cognition in birds
House sparrows are known to gain access to shopping malls by flying in front of sensors that operate sliding doors, whilst herons have been shown to be adept fishers using baits and lures.
Tool use in birds
What animals can drop stones into a water-filled tube to bring floating food within reach or bend wire to form a hook? Obviously chimpanzees? No, New Caledonian crows have evolved sophisticated tool use too.
Dolphin communication, cognition and sociality
Dolphins are one of the most intriguing sources of evolutionary convergence, having cognitive abilities that seem to find many parallels in the great apes, and rather remarkably even extend to tool use.